Attorney General Jeff Sessions Formally Recuses Himself From Investigations Into Trump-Russia Ties

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On Thursday afternoon, Attorney General Jeff Sessions held a press conference to address the past 18 hours, which have involved calls for both recusal and resignation. As you’re no doubt aware by now, the Washington Post published a report that claimed Sessions met twice with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential campaign. This would have occurred while he was acting as both a surrogate and foreign advisor to Trump, and he allegedly lied under oath on the matter during his confirmation hearing. In this presser, Sessions denied any wrongdoing during these meetings. He did however, recuse himself from any investigations (current or future ones) into possible Russian ties within the Trump campaign.

Sessions made a number of statements of denial, including “I never had meetings with Russian operatives or Russian intermediaries about the Trump campaign.” He stated that his confirmation statements were “honest and correct as I understood it at the time,” and he said this of his conversations with the Russian ambassador: “I don’t recall any specific political discussions.”

To that end, Sessions seemed proud of himself (“I followed the procedures!”) after announcing that he’d recuse himself from his current position of overseeing the investigation into Russia-Trump ties. Whether or not this means a special prosecutor will be appointed is anyone’s guess. Congressional Republicans aren’t wild about that idea, but there may be no other options with Democrats continuing to press the matter.

CNN posted a copy of Sessions’ recusal letter on Twitter.

UPDATE 9:05pm EST: President Trump released a statement about the allegations against Sessions calling the Attorney General an “honest man” and claiming Democrats have “lost their grip on reality.”